Once you pop...

By The Associated Press Published:

No golden statue awards for this obvious suggestion: Get plenty of buttered popcorn ready for Oscar-watching time. But there will be rewards for preparing homemade versions that will taste good whether you pick the screen winners or not.

You can try out recipes, then pick the one you like best for after-party occasions, too, which you can decide to hold whenever for months and months to come, until next years Oscars if you want.

The following recipes, varied to satisfy both sweet-tooth types and salt lovers, are simple to make, with butter and seasonings. They can be ready in just a few minutes, and theyll fill the kitchen with the classic ah-roma of the cinema.

The recipe developers point out that they prefer the texture of freshly popped popcorn, but these flavorful butters will brighten even plain popcorn from a bag.

Smart pop tips:

For easy mixing of hot popcorn with butter and seasonings, put the popcorn in a large paper grocery bag, close the bag and shake.

To measure up freshly popped corn, measure 2 tablespoons of kernels for about 4 cups of popped corn. Recipes can be doubled as needed for more popcorn (1/4 cup popcorn kernels equals about 8 cups popped, 1/2 cup popcorn kernels equals about 16 cups popped).

To keep popcorn fresh, store leftovers in airtight containers for up to one week.

Cinema Sage Butter Popcorn

(Preparation about 5 to 10 minutes)

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter

2 teaspoons dried sage

1 teaspoon salt

8 cups popcorn (about 1/4 cup unpopped corn)

In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Stir in dried sage and salt. Drizzle sage butter over popcorn and toss to coat evenly.

Makes 8 cups.

California Almond Butter Popcorn

(Preparation about 5 to 10 minutes)

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup almond butter

1 teaspoon salt

8 cups popcorn (about 1/4 cup unpopped corn)

Optional: 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

In a medium saucepan, melt butter and add brown sugar, stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, stir in almond butter and salt and mix well. Pour over popcorn and toss to coat evenly. Toss in optional sliced almonds if using.

Makes 8 cups.

Oscars Orange Butter Popcorn

(Preparation about 5 to 10 minutes)

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons dried orange peel

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

8 cups popcorn (about 1/4 cup unpopped corn)

In a small saucepan, melt the butter with the sugar and dried orange peel, stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, stir in cinnamon and salt and mix well. Pour over popcorn and toss to coat evenly.

Makes 8 cups.

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